York & North Yorkshire

Ampleforth College abbot 'steps aside' over abuse complaints

Ampleforth Abbey Image copyright Google
Image caption Ampleforth College is one of England's leading Catholic schools and is attached to Ampleforth Abbey

A senior figure at one of England's top Roman Catholic public schools has "stepped aside" as police investigate allegations of historic abuse.

Ampleforth Abbey said Abbot Cuthbert Madden, 61, had denied any wrongdoing.

North Yorkshire Police confirmed a man in his 60s had been voluntarily interviewed under caution.

The allegations date from the 1990s and involve four pupils at the abbey's school, Ampleforth College.

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In a statement, the abbey said: "Fr Abbot denies any wrongdoing and will be cooperating fully whilst the allegations are investigated by the appropriate authorities.

"In the interests of transparency, we want to ensure the Ampleforth community and friends are aware of the current situation."

A spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police said the allegations were reported to the force in August and the investigation was "ongoing".

"The police investigation has also triggered safeguarding measures which have been put in place while the investigation continues," she added.

Abbot Madden has been at the Benedictine monastery for more than 30 years and was elected as abbot in 2005 and re-elected in 2013.

Previously he had taught at the college which is attached to the abbey.

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